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Friday notebook from the X: Brainerd/Little Falls goalie stymies Andover's top line with help

By Star Tribune, 02/22/19, 7:00PM CST

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Olivia King did her part, stopping the first 32 shots she faced Friday night. But that's only part of the story.


Andover forward Gabby Krause (18) looked to score as Brainerd goaltender Olivia King (1) got a close look at the puck in the first period. Photo: Aaron Lavinsky ¥ aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com

Andover’s top line of Peyton Hemp, Jamie Nelson and Gabby Krause combined for four of the Huskies’ seven goals in the Class 2A quarterfinals.

Slowing the trio would be paramount to success for Brainerd/Little Falls in Friday’s semifinals.

Goaltender Olivia King did her part, stopping the first 32 shots she faced. She had a little help at times, too. King dived to thwart a first-period rush by Nelson, leaving the net open. Nelson circled around back of the net, looking to jam the puck home.

Not so fast. Senior Ella Kalusche came back to stop Nelson at the post.

“She’s a shot blocker; she’s a grinder,” King said. “Love that girl.”

DAVID LA VAQUE

A comeback win

Warroad senior goaltender Quinn Kuntz improved to 27-0-1 Friday, but the task wasn’t easy. Proctor/Hermantown had a couple of solid scoring chances early in the second period and then scored a pair of goals for a 2-1 lead.

“It definitely gets to us,” Warroad forward Hannah Corneliusen said. “You definitely get frustrated.”

Kuntz entered the game with 16 shutouts, a 0.55 goals-against average and .966 save percentage before making 28 saves against Proctor/Hermantown. The Mirage outshot the Warriors 11-7 in the second period.

“Their forecheck was relentless,” Kuntz said. “They definitely brought it in the second, and I think we kind of let up on the gas.”

HEATHER RULE

White Hawks not done

Though Mound Westonka/Watertown-Mayer/Southwest Christian suffered its first loss of the season in the state semifinals, it’s one of three Class 1A teams that can still finish with a win, co-head coach Bob Kuehl said. “We’re playing for medals and a trophy [Saturday],” Kuehl said. “That’s the dream of every kid. And you get to play at the X for a third time.”

The White Hawks had allowed just 35 goals until Breck scored 11 in the semifinal.

Kuehl said his players were “a little in awe” Friday as they chatted on the bus about their TV-introduction approach.

HEATHER RULE

Attendance

The Class 1A semifinals on Friday afternoon drew 1,363, and the 2A semifinals in the evening drew 2,192.

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